Becoming a transformative, upper-right-quadrant thought leader

Since thought leaders love the classic two-by-two matrix chart, it’s only fair to place them on one, based on the spreadability and provability of their ideas. I’ve defined thought leader this way: A thought leader is a person who has created a coherent body of ideas and is effective at communicating and spreading those ideas … Continued

Empty calories in the Whole Foods letter about becoming part of Amazon

Whole Foods has loyal, upscale customers who might be nervous about its acquisition by Amazon, so the company sent people a reassuring letter by email. It’s one of the most vacuous communications I’ve ever read. Now that Amazon is buying Whole Foods, will the retailer focus on online buyers? Will it expand its selection, including … Continued

The right and wrong way to volunteer to help on Facebook

My non-profit needs to build an online community with some very specific requirements and a completely new Web site. So I posted for help on Facebook. I got some great responses and some awful ones, which revealed a lot about the business netiquette of social media. While messages on Facebook are informal, they succeed only when they’re … Continued

The Fyre Festival investor deck: un-words for an un-festival

The Fyre Festival was an epic disaster. Organizers hyped the festival, set on an obscure island in the Bahamas, as “the next Coachella”; attendees got stranded with little food and shelter, no entertainment, and no easy way to escape. Who could have known? Anyone who read the pitch deck. It’s filled with un-words that have no … Continued

The lesson of Juicero: corporate writing should not sound like a superhero movie

It’s been a tough week for Juicero, a startup company that makes an internet-connected juicing machine. Some Bloomberg reporters figured out you could make juice from the juice packs without using the Juicero machine at all. The CEO’s response on Medium is completely ineffective, because he can only see the world from within his limited, Silicon-Valley … Continued

The inflamed rhetoric of the Trump justification for bombing Syria

President Trump, outraged by the use of nerve gas on civilians, launched 59 cruise missiles at the airfield that Bashar al-Assad uses in Syria. Then he made a statement justifying the action. It’s a case study in Trumpspeak — does the pileup in intensifying adjectives and adverbs make a statement more persuasive, or more suspect? In my … Continued